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Open AccessArticle

A Cancer Spheroid Array Chip for Selecting Effective Drug

Department of Biomedical Engineering, Konyang University, Daejeon 35365, Korea
Department of Health Sciences and Technology, SAIHST, Sungkyunkwan University, Seoul 06351, Korea
Medical & Bio Device (MBD), Suwon 16229, Korea
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Micromachines 2019, 10(10), 688;
Received: 7 September 2019 / Revised: 8 October 2019 / Accepted: 9 October 2019 / Published: 12 October 2019
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Organs-on-chips)
A cancer spheroid array chip was developed by modifying a micropillar and microwell structure to improve the evaluation of drugs targeting specific mutations such as phosphor-epidermal growth factor receptor (p-EGFR). The chip encapsulated cells in alginate and allowed cancer cells to grow for over seven days to form cancer spheroids. However, reagents or media used to screen drugs in a high-density spheroid array had to be replaced very carefully, and this was a tedious task. Particularly, the immunostaining of cancer spheroids required numerous steps to replace many of the reagents used for drug evaluation. To solve this problem, we adapted a micropillar and microwell structure to a spheroid array. Thus, culturing cancer spheroids in alginate spots attached to the micropillar allowed us to replace the reagents in the microwell chip with a single fill of fresh medium, without damaging the cancer spheroids. In this study, a cancer spheroid array was made from a p-EGFR-overexpressing cell line (A549 lung cancer cell line). In a 12 by 36 column array chip (25 mm by 75 mm), the spheroid over 100 µm in diameter started to form at day seven and p-EGFR was also considerably overexpressed. The array was used for p-EGFR inhibition and cell viability measurement against seventy drugs, including ten EGFR-targeting drugs. By comparing drug response in the spheroid array (spheroid model) with that in the single-cell model, we demonstrated that the two models showed different responses and that the spheroid model might be more resistant to some drugs, thus narrowing the choice of drug candidates. View Full-Text
Keywords: organoid; 3D cell culture; spheroid array; high-throughput screening; drug efficacy organoid; 3D cell culture; spheroid array; high-throughput screening; drug efficacy
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Choi, J.W.; Lee, S.-Y.; Lee, D.W. A Cancer Spheroid Array Chip for Selecting Effective Drug. Micromachines 2019, 10, 688.

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